As a newly established mortgage firm looking to set a new quality standard in the changing financial services market, New York-based FirstKey Mortgage takes advantage of flexible pay-as-you-go Citrix licensing to quickly scale Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) and mobile device management (MDM) for a growing business. With hosted services provider Amnet Technology providing mobile workstyle opportunity, FirstKey is able to satisfy end users with anytime, anywhere access to information, plus ensure a secure cloud-based solution for sensitive data.
Developing a new financial services business model from the ground up, First Key Mortgage is poised for tremendous growth, but needed to live in the present when it came to IT services. The firm was looking for secure cloud based service that were equivalent to an on-premises built system, but flexible enough to grow with the company. “They could not forecast the technology they would need next month, or next year,” explained Alex Sulpizi, CEO, Amnet Technology. “The firm had two specific drivers: 1) consume services on a private cloud model, 2) ensure flexibility as if they had purchased and run the technology on premises.”
Amnet created a private cloud hosted workspace to meet the needs of the growing mortgage firm, combining hosted versions of Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp and XenMobile, plus security from Citrix NetScaler. “We determined the best way to meet the firm’s needs was to tailor a Citrix private cloud on a platform that provides flexibility,” Sulpizi says. “We had two other considerations: compliance and budget. In the end, security really hit home for the customer. We wanted to lead with the best in class, but also have simplicity with a comprehensive product offering.”
With the hosted workspace approach, all of the IT engineering and support management is covered by Amnet. Sensitive data is secure in the virtual workspace, and new user seats can be quickly added when the firm experiences growth. “The customer wants to be consuming services that meets their specific business need, not get involved in the details of managing technology,” Sulpizi says. “Customers are most concerned about security when deploying hosted desktops over the cloud, but want best in class security and performance. NetScaler and XenDesktop meet both, then XenMobile adds a third element. When you put those together, Citrix is best in class.”
“XenMobile was compared against two other big players, but the idea that Amnet and Citrix can give the firm one integrated platform, with licensing purchased on a pay-as-you-go hosted model – it was the sum of all parts that became the biggest value,” Sulpizi says. “The firm felt comfortable that this was one integrated platform, not just a few acquisitions Citrix had made. Amnet provides it all and we showed they are not disparate products.”
“XenMobile was also very easy to administer, plus there seems to be no difficulty for user onboarding,” he says.
“When we explained the hosted workspace offering and demonstrated performance over other options, what really hit home was the performance over unmanaged connectivity, especially since the firm has so many mobile workers,” Sulpizi says.
Initially very happy with the mobility angle, they found even greater benefit during a season of heavy winter storms
“They can work at home and have everything they need. They like the performance and flexibility to work anywhere. The consistency of the desktop experience – logging in from any conference room or from home,” Sulpizi said. “The users are very satisfied. It seems like a simple thing, but it’s very important to the user.”
As the mortgage firm grows, Amnet aims to continue to be a strategic partner. “Judging by the way their business has grown, they’re very happy with the hosted workspace model and paying on a month to month basis,” Sulpizi says. “Every month we’ve been adding a component to their service. First, they needed a new financial app, we could support it. The firm is now 80 people, up 20 from a year ago, with tremendous growth planned in the next 2 years. The CFO likes that we’re not taking up the cashflow with a huge asset investment.”
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leader in mobile workspaces, providing virtualisation, mobility management, networking and cloud services to enable new ways to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, personal workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. This year Citrix is celebrating 25 years of innovation, making IT simpler and people more productive. With annual revenue in 2013 of $2.9 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organisations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.
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